Today we made a daytrip to Nara, Japan's first real capital city. Since we were only there for the day, we followed a walking tour as detailed in Joe's guidebook, which took us through Nara-koen. This place was seriously beautiful; we had to walk up a street filled with small shops selling traditional crafts and products of Japan, and once we'd reached the main area, woods went off in all directions, in which deer roamed around freely. We had a stroll through a temple with a pagoda, and then on to the main star of Nara; the Great Buddah Hall.
This place was massive. It was surrounded by a huge lawn and forest, and inside, it was somehow even more massive. Right by the entrance was the Great Buddah - and by Great, they weren't kidding. The statue is so big that children can fit through a hole the size of his nostril. Joe tried to convince me to go through, but I was probably just a little too wide for the great nose.
But there was more than just the Great Buddah; there were about five or six huge statues in total, plus two massive Nio Guardians outside by the Torii gate (main gate). It was really impressive, and well worth the visit.
After this, we meandered around, visiting a huge bell and two halls, and then onto Nagasu temple, the path to which was lined with moss covered stone lanterns and even more forest. After poking around here and at another nearby shrine, we left for the train station, having completed our 5km walking tour and ready to rest our feet.
Oh yeah, and we had pizza for lunch for the first time today. Sugoy!